The power to shape society, spark innovation and move culture. That’s what the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers to our entering freshman class each year. Combine your ideas, strengths and determination with our world-class faculty, rich diversity and location in the cultural and economic heart of the state. Your brilliant future will start to unfold. Ready to reveal your power as a new freshman at UWM?

Admission Guidelines

If you are an exceptionally strong student, you’ll find plenty of company at UWM, with lots of opportunities for academic challenge. But, in fact, we admit students with a fairly wide range of academic preparation, at all three of our campuses. Here are the main factors we consider:

Academic Preparation in High School
High school graduation (or the equivalent) is required for admission. We carefully consider your academic preparation, as evidenced by the pattern and rigor of your high school coursework, class rank (if available), overall GPA and grades in specific courses related to your intended major at UWM. We are looking for a high school preparation that, at minimum, closely follows this chart:

At least three years literature and composition recommended. Up to one year may be from approved speech, communication, or journalism courses.
College prep courses at or above algebra level (more math is recommended for math intensive majors).
Natural Science:
Including at least one year of lab science (more science is recommended for science intensive majors).
History/Social Science: 3
Specific College Prep Electives:
Chosen from above the areas, foreign language, speech/communication, or other academic areas.
Other Electives:
Chosen from the above areas, computer science, fine arts (performance courses acceptable), or other appropriate courses.
Note – Foreign language:  Foreign language is not required for admission to UWM, but taking at least two years of a foreign language in high school will speed your path to graduation. To graduate from UWM, a student must complete a foreign language requirement that differs depending on the degree. To receive a bachelor of science degree from UWM, students must take either 2 years of a single foreign language in high school or 2 semesters in college. To receive a bachelor of arts degree in any program in the College of Letters & Science, students must take either 4 years of a single foreign language in high school or 4 semesters in college. To receive any other bachelor of arts degree at UWM, students must take either 2 years of a single foreign language in high school or 2 semesters in college.
Performance on ACT or SAT
Performance on standardized tests is only one factor considered in the admission process. While the writing portion of the ACT is not required, we will consider these results if you wish to submit them. In addition to your composite score, we also consider your sub-scores in the area(s) (e.g. English, math, reading, science) that closely relate to your intended major at UWM. Submission of ACT/SAT results is not required of freshman applicants age 21 or older.
Additional Information
The application form includes one applicant statement intended to help us learn more about you beyond your test results and high school record. The essay asks you to tell us about your academic and personal achievements including successes and challenges that will influence you in your college education. It is strongly recommended that you complete the essay in it’s entirety. While letters of recommendation are not required, if you choose to submit one or two for consideration, please be sure that the letter addresses your academic ability and potential for success at UWM.



Application Process and Dates

FALL APPLICANTS:  Applications are accepted beginning August 1 for the fall semester with a priority deadline of March 1st. After March 1st, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will continue to review applications on a case-by-case basis until enrollment capacity has been reached.

Apply online at

Note:  If you are interested in taking summer classes at our branch campuses, UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County, you will need to apply through those campuses.  Go to and click on “Apply for Summer 2019” for more information.

Pay Fee

Pay the $50 Application Processing Fee

You may pay your fee online when you submit your application. Or, you may log back into your application to submit your fee online later. We also accept a check or money order.

Send Transcripts

Send Transcripts

We require official transcripts, sent directly from the school, for all high school and college level work. If you are still in high school, be sure to also list your senior-year classes on the application form.

Send Test Scores

Send Test Scores

New freshmen must submit ACT or SAT test scores. When you take the ACT or SAT, select UW-Milwaukee (ACT school code: 4658; SAT school code: 1473) to have your scores sent directly to us. Submission of ACT/SAT results is not required of freshman applicants age 21 or older. If you have taken Advanced Placement exams (AP), International Baccalaureate exams (IB), or the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and would like UWM to evaluate these scores for possible credit, please have your results sent from these testing agencies. Students whose native language is not English and who were not educated in an entirely English-speaking country will likely need to submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


Admission Decisions

Soon after we receive your application, we will send you information about how to check the status of your application online, via our PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) student information system. Log onto PAWS to monitor your application “to do” items. Once all of the “to do” items disappear, your file is complete and is ready for an admission decision. During peak times, you may expect to wait 4-6 weeks for a decision.

Common Questions

What is a completed application file?
A completed application file consists of an application, an official high school transcript, your ACT or SAT scores and the $50 application processing fee. Upon submission of your materials, you will be mailed directions to access your PAWS (Panther Access to Web Services) account to check the status of your application. Because you may submit your application for admission to UWM while you are still enrolled in high school, after you have graduated you will also need to receive a final high school transcript with your final semester grades and graduation date posted
Do I have to take the ACT or SAT?
Yes, we need your ACT/SAT scores if you are under the age of 21 as of September 1st for the academic year in which you wish to enroll. Your ACT or SAT scores are information we use in determining your admission status.There are also some situations when students over 21 may be asked to provide a test score to help us determine admission. This could be an ACT or SAT, or it could be our Admission Test Series.  If you need to provide additional information, staff from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will reach out to you.
When will a decision be made on my application?
Once an application file is complete, including application fee and all relevant documents, you may expect to receive a decision in approximately 3-4 weeks.
Can I defer admission or change the semester for which I would like to enroll?
Yes. If you are changing your term of entry to UWM from one semester to another, complete the Term Change Request form
How can I have the application review committee reconsider my application for admission if I am denied?
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will review requests for reconsideration on a case-by-case basis.  Please follow the steps outlined in the Admission Reconsideration Policy if you wish to have your application reconsidered.
How do I apply for on-campus housing?
All newly admitted first-year students are automatically granted contract access to live in University Housing. Contract access is emailed to students approximately two weeks after they are admitted, starting in mid-October. Students will complete their contract online at The priority date for completing a University Housing Contract is May 1 (December 1 for Spring Admits), and assignments are made by random lottery, which takes into account certain preferences (Living Learning Community, Room Type, Roommate, etc.) made by the student at the time they complete their contract.

UW-Milwaukee does have a Residency Policy which states that all first-time students under the age of 21 are expected to live on-campus, where availability allows. There are a few valid reasons to be exempt from this policy. For more information on the process to request an exemption, visit:  

What if I have financial aid questions?
First, please visit for information on applying for financial aid. Then if you have more specific questions, contact the Financial Aid Department at 414-229-4541 or
Do I have to take placement tests? What would happen if I did not take placement tests?
Yes, all new incoming freshmen are required to take University of Wisconsin System placement tests so you will be placed in the appropriate level classes.

For students attending UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County, you must take your placement tests at your intended campus  because the essay component is not offered elsewhere.

If students do not take placement tests, you will not be invited to the Student Advising and Registration program (New Student Orientation). This means you would not be able to register for classes.

Additional resources

Mailing Address

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0749

Street Address

Welcome Center
2100 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53211